Shaman Spider (무당 거미)
I’ve had an infection or ‘red-eye’ and haven’t been able to use the gym or bathhouse so instead I’ve been walking up Warayong Mountain (Wikipedia location) in Song-So.
I noticed a wasp nest on a tree and watched it over several mornings. These wasps are much smaller than European ones.
This is the shaman spider (무당 거미), which is often translated as ‘sorcerer.’ In English it is known as the golden banana spider or joro spider (nephila clavata). ‘ It probably measured about three inches long and can inflict a mildly painful but non-deadly bite. Autumn signals the mating season for spiders and these beautiful, if not scary looking specimens are also cannibalistic. The female is larger than the male and has red markings towards the back, underside of her abdomen.
The web was about 4 feet across and slightly yellow in colour and at one point I walked into a supporting strand. It did not break and I noted at the time how resilient it was. Apparently, genes from this spider have been injected into silk worm cocoons and as a result they subsequently produce a much stronger silk. This product is being launched on the market, in the form of extra durable socks, in 2010.
© Nick Elwood 2010 Creative Commons Licence.